Who doesn't love getting fun snail mail every once and a while? With most correspondence coming and going via the digital realm these days, it's easy to stand out when sending something the old fashioned way. And, it's especially memorable if what you're sending is covered in attention-grabbing patterns like the postcards in the Pattern Box, recently put out by the Textile Arts Center of New York.
The Pattern Box is a treasure trove containing 100 postcards by 10 current surface pattern designers to be used for mail art or to keep as inspiration. And, as an added bonus to us designers, it also comes with a booklet full of info and insight about the contributors and their design process.
The designers featured in the Pattern Box include: Shanan Campanaro (Eskayel), Brittany Keats Cerullo, Helen Dealtry, Leah Reena Goren, Hannah Schultz, Leanne Shapton, Jennifer Parry Dodge (Ermie), Kindah Khalidy, Victoria Garcia, and Anna Niestroj of Blink Blink.
Wouldn't you love to find one of these in your mailbox? Better yet, how about the entire collection!
Morris & Co. Wallpaper. Printed between 1915 & 1917.
Have you ever wondered how wallpaper gets printed? There are tons of traditional methods:
"What we use every day can be beautiful, creative and friendly to the world." –Waste Not Paper
We've talked a lot about fabric in the Designing Green blog series, so I would like to turn our attention to another huge market for surface pattern designers: paper. Much like the textile industry, the paper trade is one of the most damaging to the environment. From the ruinous effects of deforestation, such as habitat loss and the massive reduction of carbon dioxide-absorbing trees, to the air and water pollution that is caused by manufacturing, the pretty paper items we designers want to bring to the world have a side to them that's not so much…well, pretty.
So, what's a surface pattern designer who wants a gig in the paper industry to do? For one, you could work with a company like Waste Not Paper in Chicago, Illinois. Waste Not Paper is the wholesale division of the popular paper and gift retail chain Paper Source in the US and its mission is to supply beautiful, environmentally friendly paper products at a reasonable price.
A green ethos permeates just about every aspect of Waste Not Paper's business. Their products are sourced from within the US, keeping it local for American retailers. They work with paper mills that meet sustainable forestry and energy-use standards as well as with artists making paper items by hand. Many of their paper lines contain recycled content and are manufactured without the use of elemental chlorine (PCF), and if printed, are done so using printers with reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Waste Not Paper even strives to maintain a green work environment. Their office promotes recycling and creative reuse of scraps and packaging materials, participates in Chicago's Bike-to-Work-Week, and is situated near public transportation.
Waste Not Paper: Thank you for proving that gorgeous, creative design and protecting the earth do not have to be mutually exclusive!
P.S. I am available for hire as your next designer.